A "switcher" reflects on his decision...

Discussion in 'iMac' started by dh2005, Mar 10, 2010.

  1. dh2005 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    Hello everyone,

    Five or six weeks ago, after more than fifteen years of continuous PC-ownership, I jumped ship for a Mac Mini. Here are my thoughts; perhaps if any other people with a similar history are considering switching, they might find this of interest.

    Buying it:

    My first impression on walking into my local Apple Store was "ugh...!!! I'm here to buy a computer, not a 'lifestyle'. What's with all the wankers in blue tee-shirts with tattoos and ski hats...?!". For me, there's nothing more square than trying to be cool. Not a good start.

    I identified the least irritating-looking sales assistant, and asked him for help. He was very nice, he knew the products, he ascertained my needs and recommended what I'd decided to buy already. Getting better.

    I said, "so, can I buy one then?". He said, "yep, I'll go get it", and within five minutes I was walking out the door with a Mac. All in all, despite the superficially annoying exterior, the Mac-buying experience was a smooth and pleasing one. By this point, I was feeling good about everything.

    Setting it up:

    I got it home, opened the box and thought, "yeah... that looks smart". The external appearance of a computer had never previously been of interest me, so the Mini broke new ground here.

    Putting the few pieces together was no more difficult than putting together a PS3 and, once I'd connected it properly to my television, it powered-up without a hitch. It took, I think, a further five minutes to go through the easy-as-pie setup process for OS X.

    And that was that. My Mac was ready to use. And I couldn't discern any noise from the machine whatsoever, in a near-silent room.

    Boot Camp:

    Mac purists might be slightly offended to hear that one of the first pieces of software that I installed onto my new Mini was Windows 7 (I can hear the groans, now...!).

    The process was extremely simple and took very little time, but I would nonetheless complain slightly that OS X forewarned me excessively; it made me print out a Boot Camp guidance document, which I would add was out-of-date, that suggested the installation of Windows was a treacherous and perilous process. I mean, sure, if I'd been a total novice (and/or moron), I might've reformated my OS X partition... but anyone with any PC experience would probably find the process a breeze, and the doom-laden guidance document slightly laughable.

    Once installed, Windows 7 ran fine. I mean, it's still Windows, so it occasionally refuses to co-operate for reasons that are beyond me, but it's less annoying than Vista.

    Learning to use OS X has been interesting; and it's true, I've probably been leaning on the Windows 7 partition preferrentially because it's easier to stick to what you know. But in the times I've used OS X, it's never crashed, sulked, or flipped-out at me. Seems like a very graceful operating system.


    I've been playing a clutch of games from Steam through Windows, the most modern and demanding of which are Doom 3, Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic. They run very nicely. Older stuff, like Half-Life and Quake III, bomb along at lightning pace. I'd advise anybody looking to play older games to consider the Mini for this purpose, specifically. I'm absolutely delighted with this facet of performance.


    I'm pleased. Yes, I could've bought a PC with a greater spec for the same money, but the versatility of being able to switch from PC to Mac and back, coupled with the surprisingly good gaming performance and the living room friendly form factor justify the greater expense (for me, anyway). My only real complaints are that the appearance of the Apple Store and the people within it almost made me turn on my heels, and that OS X seems so committed to being idiot-proof that it can be slightly insulting to an experienced computer user.

    All in all, very happy.
  2. Raima macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2010
    Good write up. Similar experience, but I was more knit picking with the Mac OS X. I was expecting it to be easier to use as that's what everyone made it out to be. Took me a while to get used to it, there's still a few things the erks me about Mac OS X, and that's the right mouse click, it's way more complicated than it needs to be - just give macs a default right mouse button on notebooks etc. Pressing control and clicking or a two finger click is like WTF!!! A single and simple right mouse click will do the job thank you.

    Running windows on the MBP is also a pain as there's no page up/down buttons, no page scrolling via track pad and no right mouse click. Drivers are hard to find on the apple site for boot camp, so Windows doesn't identify things like the eject disc button, illuminated keyboard is off, etc. I'm not sure if this is apple's strategy to make the windows experience on mac hardware as difficult as possible when things just work on the pc, but it's working. I'm more inclined to stick with the PC notebook for windows atm.

    Other than that, I'm liking the Mac. My i7 iMac should be arriving this Friday :)
  3. Btom macrumors 6502a

    Nov 19, 2009

    I suspect at least some of the OS X irks came from our unfamiliarity with the system, after living with the Windows' ways of doing things for so long....

    Tom B.
  4. ae3265 macrumors member

    Feb 3, 2009
    Check out BetterTouchTool. Add that and stop looking for a right button, once you get used to the multi-touch you're going to love how versatile it can be.

    As a former switcher, the hardest thing is to give up the "Windows" way of doing things and learn the Mac way. Once you get used to it and stop fighting it, it really is both easier and more efficient.

    I'm still a big fan of Virtualization over Bootcamp when you need to run Windows. Unless you are running Windows for gaming, Parallels, Fusion or Virtualbox will let you run what you need in Windows (Office, IE, etc.). Right now Parallels seems to run Windows 7 the best.

    Check out the osx.iusethis.com site for a lot of great software out there and find a long-time Mac user to show you some things. I learned a huge amount watching a colleague of mine flit through his system with Quicksilver a few years ago and it really opened up the possibilities of OS X.
  5. willcodejavafor macrumors regular

    Dec 4, 2007
    Funny :)
    That's why I bought mine online.
  6. glasscity macrumors member

    Feb 11, 2010
    Same here. I recently switched, and I'm very happy with the purchase. I went to bestbuy here in canada to get my imac (originally a macbook, but I returned it because my eyes aren't what they used to be, and the tiny screen was giving me headaches after use. Gotta see my optometrist soon. having them switch it out was absolutely no problem at all, anyway) and I couldn't be happier about the purchase.

    There are little quirks that take some getting used to, namely having the window buttons on the left side instead of the right side, remembering that the little red x doesn't quit the program, just closes the window, etc. etc. But all in all it was a pretty good decision, I think.

    I don't game, but I have been playing around with some graphics programs and things are running absolutely smooth. The setup took 5 minutes, installing additional programs I needed took all of a minute or two, everything so far has been better than I anticipated.
  7. dh2005 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    Hah! Yeah, I very nearly did the same. But my impatience got the better of me.

    I guess my response to the look of the Apple Store employees is yet further evidence that I'm getting old.
  8. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    You crazy Brits =)

    Some helpful links:




    Two finger right clicking on the trackpad is so easy even my 5 year old gets it =)

    Good news, Steam is coming to OSX: http://www.macrumors.com/2010/03/03/valve-teases-upcoming-half-life-release-for-mac/

    Having never used Windows in my entire life -- and seeing zero reason to do so -- installing Windows on my Macs will never happen =)
  9. yamawho macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2010
    Rosemere Qc Canada
    Me too ...
  10. dh2005 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    Nice to know I'm not the only Mac owner who thinks the Apple Store Massive look like trendy ********s...

    ... still, it makes sense, really. After all, most people are trendy ********s. If you want to pull people in off the street to buy their fifth iPod of the year, you need to make them feel at home.
  11. cwwilson macrumors 65816


    Jan 27, 2009
    Oklahoma City, OK
    I don't know about your store but around here they are generally very clean looking and are quite nice and helpful.
  12. dh2005 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    I didn't say they weren't. They just dress like idiots - not all of them, but many.

    At the Apple Store in the middle of Manchester during my visit, I'd say more than half of the floor staff had either a "creative" haircut, an unimaginative tattoo, or a piece of silly headwear (ski hat, bandana, whatever...). One guy had all three; he looked like a twentysomething waste-of-space who'd never finished senior school. And what's ironic is, I bet he was a middle-class, privately educated university graduate; it takes money and forethought to look that slack.

  13. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Gee, you're putting people down and calling them horrible names for how their hair looks or how creative their tattoo is? How much do you think Apple is paying them? I can assure you, not much, as my brother worked there for a bit.
    Honestly, I agree with you on your earlier post, you're getting old.
    Personally I think the Apple employees attire is very fun and laid back and doesn't represent arrogance like some stores. I don't feel comfortable going into stores where everyone is dressed up and looks "perfect", I feel like I have to act a certain way. Apple hires young people for two reasons, they have an image they want to project and they can pay small wages. Try to be more open minded and less critical of someone's looks. :p
  14. dh2005 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    But, ya see, there's the irony. They do look "perfect". The image they're trying to project is engineered anti-perfection, and they achieve that "perfectly". It's a contrivance and, in my opinion, very lame. And anybody who dresses to an image makes a deliberate spectacle of themselves, and if they draw adverse comment for doing so then it serves them right.

    No need to take my comments personally because your brother worked there, man. Seriously. My mother and sister are nurses, and as a student doctor I hear nurses being slammed all the time. If I got the arse every time that happened, I'd have to quit medicine!

    I would also add that I have not commented that they're bad at their jobs, but simply on their appearance, which I find "fun" to the point of being unprofessional. My opinion is clearly dissenting, because Apple Stores do great business; they shouldn't care what I think, and they probably don't - doesn't mean I can't have an opinion. After all, I spent £650 in that Apple Store that day, and I'll probably be spending another £1,500 there on an iMac this time next year. That's more than a casual iPod shopper's likely to spend there in a lifetime.

    I'm not looking to get into a war of words, by the way. Maybe the above will explain more clearly where my disagreements come from.
  15. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    Anyone else feel like ripping the stupid ski hats off their heads. :D
  16. dh2005 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    My feelings didn't run so deeply as to assault them...!

    But seriously, and this goes for anybody and not just Apple Store employees, if you wear a ski hat indoors in a temperate climate you're being an ass. There is absolutely no need.
  17. Bobdude161 macrumors 65816


    Mar 12, 2006
    N'Albany, Indiana
    Amen. That's one reason I switched to PC and am enjoying the Windows side more. :)
  18. student_trap macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2005
    'Ol Smokey, UK
  19. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    I bet your parents said the same thing about the Beatles. =)
  20. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    I don't see any reason for you to be on this forum at all then. :rolleyes:
  21. dh2005 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010

    My grandparents, maybe! My parents were teenagers in the late Sixties.

    And in a way, there was something much more honest about "cool" back then. I mean, at the least the Beatles were working-class art school students from Liverpool; I guarantee that some of the people I've been wailing on have as formal an education as I do, and will've come from a more wealthy family than me.

    Some of those haircuts are clearly very expensive!
  22. dh2005 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    The 2.53GHz, mate.
  23. yamawho macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2010
    Rosemere Qc Canada
    Ha ha .. good one :D

    As a recent mac owner added a mini to the pc fleet that I own I can say this;

    When I need to get something done I use a pc either running windows or linux, when I want to relax I use my mini.
  24. roguepink macrumors newbie

    Feb 16, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    And you are here for what purpose?

    dh2005, welcome aboard. The Mac Store experience is not for everyone which is why, in part of the world anyway, you can also buy a new Mac from more traditional computer stores like Micro Center. They wear sport coats and ties.

    Its the machine that counts.

    I personally enjoyed The Mac Store. They people there knew their Macs and treated me well and THAT'S more important than blue t-shirts and hippie beards.
  25. yamawho macrumors newbie

    Jan 16, 2010
    Rosemere Qc Canada
    To participate in the Mac love in of course :rolleyes:

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